Hundreds of students from primary schools across Auckland will become scientists for a day in the annual BASF Kids’ Lab program at the University of Auckland from 13-15 November.

Locally organised in partnership with the University of Auckland, BASF Kids’ Lab gives primary school children a hands-on experience with chemistry as they conduct safe, colourful experiments under the supervision of a team of scientists from the university.

BASF Kids’ Lab is designed to encourage an interest in science from a young age, said David Hawkins, BASF Australia and New Zealand’s chairman and managing director.

“Engaging students in STEM – science, technology, education and mathematics – from a young age can act as an early catalyst for young students to consider a career in science later in life,” he said.

“We design the Kids’ Lab experience so children will start to see how chemistry plays an important role in their everyday lives – and hopefully one day we see them working in a company like BASF.”

The experiments include:

  • Insta worms: Making ‘instant worms’ and observe the relationship between heat and thermochromic dye, and how polymers are formed.
  • Superabsorber: Superabsorbent polymers help children discover that some materials can hold several times their weight in water.
  • Make your own toothpaste: Making a safe toothpaste from ingredients commonly found in the home.

Freemans Bay School, Edmonton Primary School, Freyberg Community School, Finlayson Park School, Waiheke Primary School and Tapora School will participate in half-day programmes that run over three days.

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